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Responsible Shark and Ray Tourism

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World’s First-Ever Best-Practice Guide for Tourism Operators Released by Project AWARE Foundation, The Manta Trust and WWF International

This World Wildlife Day, March 3, Project AWARE®, WWF and The Manta Trust are to release Responsible Shark and Ray Tourism: A Guide to Best Practice, the world’s first-ever guidelines for shark and ray tourism operators. The Guide aims to provide practical, science-based guidance to help tourism operators, NGOs and local communities develop and maintain well managed tourism operations that help conserve shark and ray species, raise awareness for their protection, and benefit local communities.

Unsustainable exploitation of sharks and rays – mainly driven by overfishing – is widespread with one in four shark and ray species now threatened with an increased risk of extinction.

Yet across the globe, shark and ray tourism is increasing in popularity. Currently, around 400 well-established tourism operations focus on interacting with species of sharks and rays, and it’s estimated that this number could more than double over the next twenty years, generating over 780 million USD in expenditures around the world.

Dr Andy Cornish, WWF says, “Shark and ray focused ecotourism has great potential as a conservation strategy. If properly designed and managed, it can provide alternative direct and indirect economic benefits to local communities and economies. Yet sadly there’s limited practical guidance out there.”

Industry, researchers, authorities and the nonprofit community largely agree that best-practice guidance is urgently needed to ensure that tourism sites are established and operated in a manner that benefits sharks and rays, and local communities, while also inspiring awe, respect and a greater appreciation of the need to conserve these animals.

Isabel Ender, Manta Trust, adds, “Lack of best practice guidance can often leave operators confused about how to assess the impact and improve the sustainability of their operation. We sought advice from scientists and the industry to help bridge that gap and deliver a best practice guide – the first of its kind in the world.”

To support operators seeking to commit to best practice, a full suite of free, downloadable tools is available on all of the organizations’ websites.

“We’re excited to launch the guidance on this United Nations, World Wildlife Day,” adds Ania Budziak, Project AWARE. “Operators now have access to the latest science based guidance and practical, hands on tools like performance scorecards and checklists. We’re looking forward to helping local communities lead the transformation to a responsible shark and ray focused tourism around the world.”

For further information or to download any of the tools visit Project AWARE, WWF and The Manta Trust websites.

Photo: www.frogfishphotography.com

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Introducing the all-new PADI Dive Guides: connecting divers worldwide with local expertise

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The new PADI Dive Guides™ make it easier than ever for divers to discover, explore and plan their next adventure by providing the tools needed to research and book dive experiences or training anywhere in the world. PADI Dive Guides are the go-to resource whether planning a local dive or seeking inspiration and information about far-off destinations.

“Dive destination information has been integral to padi.com for years,” says Lisa Nicklin, Vice President of Consumer Marketing for PADI Worldwide. “This next evolution provides more detailed guides that will continue to grow in global coverage and bring unprecedented value to PADI Members and divers alike. Leveraging new system capabilities, the guides combine PADI’s global expertise with the immense local knowledge of PADI Members around the world. PADI Dive Guides enable divers to plan and book adventures near home or wherever their future travels may take them – all through one convenient platform.” 

Image: Al Hornsby

Now available at padi.com/exploration, the collection of thousands of guides offers marine life calendars, seasonal weather data and travel information. Users can learn about dive opportunities by continent and country, or drill down to specific dive destinations and dive sites. They will find a mosaic of dive sites to explore in each location with insight provided by local experts, as well as dive site reviews from fellow explorers. Users can easily contact PADI operators and book dives, snorkel excursions, holidays and courses through the integrated PADI Adventures™ platform.

Start exploring and planning your next adventure at padi.com/exploration.

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Dive Training Blogs

Why Every Diver Should Be A Rescue Diver (Watch Video)

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Why Every Diver Should Be A Rescue Diver! I’ve got three reasons why every diver should take a Rescue Diver course. The world would be a better place!

Rescue Diver is mine – and a lot of my Instructor buddies’ – favorite course to teach. A well-run Rescue Diver course should be heavily practical and feature realistic scenarios. It expands your vision to include situational awareness and give you the knowledge and skills to react should an accident occur.

Think resuscitation is hard on land? Wait until you’re given rescue breaths in water whilst towing the victim! It’s a fantastic confidence booster, especially for divers who are more naturally anxious or nervous.

Thanks for watching! D.S.D.O James


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

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Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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